SERIES: The Book of Acts
TEXT: Acts 4:31-33
MESSAGE: An Unshakable Community
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“Many people who have no belief in God at all are passionately committed to racial justice. So do we need Christianity today to realize Martin Luther King’s dream, or is it just a matter of historical interest that he was so shaped by his Christian faith? It’s undeniable that the Reverend…tied his own vision and purpose for fighting for equity and justice – not just for the poor and African Americans, but for the oppressed throughout the world – to his understanding of the true meaning of Christianity and the ministry of Jesus Christ…MLK and true Christianity charge us to embrace (those) who are different from us in ways that we are not inclined to do so under normal circumstances. Is there a worldview that offers a better foundation for this than the model of Jesus, who helps us trust that we can embrace those who persecute us and, through humility and love, change the hearts of people? Perhaps, but I haven’t seen it.” – Nancy Hill
What does an unshakable community look like? It’s having an unshakable…(1. Foundation 2. Identity 3. Story)
  1. Foundation (v. 31)
“And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”
“Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God.”
— Oswald Chambers
“The place was shaken, and that made them all the more unshaken.” 
— John Chrysostom
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” — John 16:13-14
 
What does the Spirit do? Makes Jesus more of a reality in your life

“Look at (Jesus), and see his glory; listen to (Jesus), and hear his word; go to (Jesus), and have life; get to know (Jesus), and taste his gift of joy and peace.” J.I. Packer

“The mountains quaked before the LORD, even Sinai before the LORD, the God of Israel.” — Judges 5:5
  1. Identity (v. 32)
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.”
“…The most exclusive claim, Jesus is the only way to God, led to the most inclusive community the world had ever seen.When the Greeks looked at the early church, they saw rich and poor mixing it up, and they said, “Oh my word, we don’t do that. We don’t let the cultured, sophisticated, educated people put in with the uncultured, unsophisticated, and uneducated,” but the Christians did, because identity didn’t have to do with your pedigree or your accomplishment. If Jesus had been a teacher giving us the Law only by which we were to live a good life and earn our salvation, our identity would’ve been based on that, and you wouldn’t have people like that together. Christians kept those two kinds of people together. The Greeks looked at it, and they had never seen anything like it. The Jews looked at the church, and they had never seen anything like it either. They didn’t mix the moral and the immoral. They didn’t put in religious people with prostitutes, but the Christians did. Why? Because when you’re sinners saved by grace, your identity is based on something else.” 
— Timothy Keller
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away.” — James 1:9-10
3.   Story (v. 33)
“And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.”
Takeaways:
 
* Call out to an unshakable God
“Give me a team of people who know how to watch, wait, listen, people who fast, pray, and surrenderer rather than always trying to take control. These are the ones developing sensitivity to the Holy Spirit; they understand how to let God guide them through life.” – Dave Gibbons
 
* Commit yourself to God’s Mission
“The 98% of Christians who are not in church paid work are, on the whole not equipped or envisioned for mission…95% of their waking lives. What a tragic waste of human potential!” Mark Greene
“When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” — Matthew 27:54